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April 17, 2019

Stormy weather damages 150,000 tons of wheat crop in Punjab


April 17, 2019

LAHORE: A devastating widespread hailstorm, torrential rains, and gusty winds earlier in the week damaged up to 150,000 tons of standing mature wheat crop in the Punjab province, an official estimate showed on Tuesday.

Large-scale rain and hailstorm were also reported on April 16 and Pakistan Meteorological Department has forecast a wave of downpour of similar intensity on April 17 (today). The damage to standing wheat crop has also been estimated due to lodging (bending) of plants over a vast area, an initial assessment prepared by Provincial Agriculture Department said.

Wheat has been cultivated over 16.165 million acres in Punjab during Rabi 2018-19 and production target has been set at 19.5 million tons. However, now mature crop of wheat may reduce by one to one and 50,000 tons due to adverse impact of inclement weather.

Severe weather events have been reported in Southern and Central Punjab. The worst affected districts, according to official estimate, are Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Multan, Khanewal, Vehari, Faisalabad, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh, Chiniot, and Chakwal. The losses to standing or harvested wheat crop from hailstorm are however not more than one percent of respective districts.

As per an assessment, in Rajanpur and Dera Ghazi Khan districts, the hill torrents (rodhkohis) have damaged wheat crop over 8000 acres, which is stated to be 15 percent of the region. During past 24 hours, thunderstorm, dust-storm, hail, and rain accompanied by gusty winds have wreaked havoc in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, while similar reports are also pouring in from isolated places in Hyderabad, Sukkur divisions, Islamabad, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Following are the rainfall data (in millimeters) recorded in various districts and towns:

Punjab: Bahawalnager 41, Khanewal 32, Kasur, Noorpur Thal 30, Faisalabad 24, Layyah 20, Bhakkar, Sahiwal 14, Toba Tek Singh, Jhang 13, Islamabad A/P 10, Kot Addu, Hafizabad 08, Lahore (A/P 08, City 05), Joharabad 07, Sailkot 05, Sargodha, Okara 04, Multan 03, Chakwal, Murree 02, Jhelum, D.G Khan, Mandi Bahauddin 01.

Sindh: Padidan 32, Dadu 10, Rohri 02, Sukkur, Mirpur Khas 01.

Kashmir: Rawalakot 12, Garhi Dupatta 09, Muzaffarabad 08.

Gilgit Baltistan/Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Astore 01, Dir (upper 45, lower 21), Mirkhani 40, Dera Ismail Khan 33, Malamjabba 32, Parachinar 27, Pattan, Kalam 22, Drosh 21, Chitral 17, Balakot 13, Peshawar (city 12, A/P 06), Saidu Sharif 10, Cherat 11, Bannu 08, Kakul 02.

Balochistan: Sibbi 44, Quetta (Shiekh Manda 17, Smungli 13), Barkhan 10, Zhob 08, Turbat 06, Kalat, Khuzdar, Ormara 04, Panjgur, Dalbandin, Lasbela 02. According to Met office, a westerly wave is affecting most upper and central parts of the country and is likely to persist in upper parts till Wednesday (April 17) night.

As per weather forecast for Tuesday night, more widespread dust-thunderstorm/rain accompanied by gusty winds is expected in Punjab, Islamabad, Kashmir, and in scattered areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while at isolated places in Quetta, Zhob, Sibbi, Kalat, Sukkur, Larkana divisions and Gilgit Baltistan.

Hailstorm is also expected to hit few places during the period. Isolated heavy falls are also expected in Malakand, Hazara divisions, and Kashmir.

Meteorological Department has anticipated more dust-thunderstorm/rain accompanied by gusty winds on Wednesday (today) in scattered places in Gujranwala division and Kashmir, while in isolated places in Malakand, Hazara, Mardan, Rawalpindi divisions, Islamabad, and Gilgit Baltistan. Hot and dry weather is expected elsewhere in the country.

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